I was discharged today from Occupational Therapy, ordered by my primary care doctor to treat my sore shoulders which were suffering from overuse. They basically hurt all the time. First we treated them with ultrasound and diathermy, which uses electro-magnetic currents, and with resting from walking or NuStep. Putting on my AFO’s strains the shoulders from hauling and manipulating the legs into proper position, and walking strains the shoulders with pressure while using the walker (because it’s hard not to hang on for dear life). And of course, I use my arms to roll around in my wheelchair Phoebe.
After that, I did a bunch of things: stretching on the mat using a roller or little circle things. Weight bars to do curls, extensions, swings, and other exercises. Using the pulley weights. The arm bike with increasing tension. Best of all was a quick massage with BioFreeze to finish the session.
The arm muscles are better but the right shoulder still aches at the end of the day and sometimes at night, interfering with sleep. I’ve been using a muscle relaxant and a heating pad at the end of the day, which help. But if I wake up and it still hurts, I’ve learned to just relax and rest it for a day. That means no walking. So far one day of that seems to do the trick.
In any case, this round of OT is over. I invested in a set of weight bars to use at home to replicate my therapy exercises. You can do more with them than with a set of hand weights and I have them in the living room where they’re easy to grab. I’ll continue to use the heating pad and rest when needed. And if things flare up again and I need more help, I know I can go back with just a call to my doctor.